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The Governors and Judges of Egypt of El Kindt. Together with 
an Appendix derived mostly from Raf El Isr by Ibn Hajar. 
Edited by Rhuvon Guest. Leyden: E. J. Brill, 1912. 
pp. 72 + 686. (E. J. W. Gibb Memorial Series. Vol. XIX). 

The Kitab Al-Ansab of 'Abd Al-Karim Ibn MuJiammad Al- 
Samdni. Reproduced in facsimile from the manuscript in 
the British Museum Add. 23, 355. With an Introduction. 
By D. S. Margoliouth, D.Litt., Laudian Professor of Arabic 
in the University of Oxford. Leyden: E.J. Brill, 1912. 
pp. 7 + 1206. (E. J. W. Gibb Memorial Series. Vol. XX.) 

The Pearl-Strings. A History of the Resiiliyy Dynasty of Yemen. 
By 'Alyyu' Bnu' l-Hasan 'El-Khazrejiyy. The Arabic 
text. Edited by Shaykh Muhammad 'Asal. Leyden : 
E. J. Brill, 1913. pp. xii4-442. (E. J. W. Gibb Memorial 
Series. Vol. Ill, 4.) 

The publication of Arabic texts, which, owing to the rivalry of 
Assyriology, was somewhat neglected in the last few decades, 
is now being successfully resumed. The E. J. W. Gibb Memorial 
fund is being utilized for the purpose of printing various Oriental 
manuscripts, and the trustees deserve credit for their judicious 
selections. The object of this Memorial is to promote researches 
into the history, literature, philosophy, and religion of the Turks, 
Persians, and Arabs, and the Arabic texts that have hitherto 
appeared in this series cover nearly all these branches, though 
historical texts are the most prominent. 

Al-Kindi, who may or may not have been a descendant of 

the famous philosopher of that name, was a native of Egypt and 

a contemporary of Sa'adya. It is possible that he was of Jewish 

extraction, as in pre-Islamic times Judaism is known to have 

VOL. VI. 433 F f 


prevailed in the tribe of Kindah from which this historian derives 
his appellation. His family, however, seems to have settled in 
Egypt a short while after the Muhammedan conquest. He was 
a prolific writer, and his book on the Governors and Judges of 
Egypt is of great importance as an historical source for the period 
with which it deals. As is the custom of Arabian historians, 
al-Kindl gives his authorities for every statement he makes, and 
s very accurate in matters of dates. 

Mr. Guest has written a very valuable introduction, and has 
given a concise sketch of events in Egypt from the seventh to 
the eleventh century. He has also outUned the particulars of 
al-Kindi's life which are mainly derived from anonymous notes 
in the British Museum manuscript upon which the edition is 
based, and he has described the authorities al-Kindi names in 
his book. If we disregard the misprints which are practically 
unavoidable in a work of such magnitude, and which the intelligent 
reader will easily be able to correct, we may say that the text 
is extremely well edited. Mr. Guest is very painstaking, and 
in his notes, which are written in Arabic, he draws attention to 
variants and corrections. He also points out difficulties which 
he is unable to solve, and this inspires confidence in the editor's 
carefulness. All along the reader feels certain that the text has 
been faithfully reproduced, except in cases where the editor 
deemed it necessary to resort to emendations to which attention 
is called in the notes. In a very instructive manner Mr. Guest 
has carefully compared his text with the works of other writers 
dealing with the same subject. Makrizl's al-Hitat proved very 
helpful for the first part of the work. 

In some instances, however, Mr. Guest's corrections are 
scarcely justifiable. The spelling of 15, for ^j (p. 83, 1. i), and 
t5Jj» for Xsit (p. 114, 1. s) may be dialectic, and should therefore 
be allowed to remain in the text. Arabic has a great number of 
such double spellings and pronunciations. As a matter of fact 
Freytag records 13^ in the sense of ascendit, that is to say, ^JJ. 
Such cases are quite frequent in Hebrew. Some of the tertiae K 
became tertiae ' in mishnic Hebrew. Nor is it necessary to 


change ijilil (p. 124, 1. 9) to iiiU-U, though the latter is more 
natural when constructed with Icj . 

The numerous verses that are quoted in this book have for 
the greater part been carefully vocalized. It is, however, possible 
to improve a line here and there. The following are a few 
examples : 

P. 52, 1. 10. j^ should be JJb will be made to devour; the 
metre is Mutakarib. 

P. 63, 1. 9. Instead of !li read ^-^4.* ; the metre is Wafir. 

P. 92, 1. 2. Read "Jti^; the metre is Kamil. 

P. 145, 1. 10. The metre which is Hafif demands that we 
should vocalize ^r^ against grammar. 

The rhyme of the poem on p. 175, 11. 15-17 should be sJ, 
not ij ; the metre is Tawll. 

P. 271, 1. 8. Vocalize JtJSs- ; the metre is Tawil. 

P. 403, 1. II. Delete ijj^., as the poem is in the Mutakarib 
metre, and that word is not essential for the sense. 

In his glossary to this book Mr. Guest explains words and 
expressions which are not recorded in any lexicon, or are rarely 
used. But his explanation of the phrase^. Jcjj js^- ^^ cannot 
be regarded as satisfactory. He takes it to mean : ' I am a river 
fish and an intruder on land ', i. e. a fish out of water. But even 
if we grant that Jc, denotes an intruder, it is too vague to be 
used as a parallel to i^yja- in a proverb. We should perhaps 
change c to c, and read Jc. a mountain-goat. 

It is hard to say what part the Jews took in the political life 

in Egypt at that time. The Jews adopted Arabic names, and 

Muhammedans bore biblical names, and hence we have to rely on 

the author's explicit remarks as to the religion professed by the 

men he mentions. In the vast array of governors, judges, and 

other officials, there is not one designated as a Jew. There are, 

however, a few references to Jews which indicate that there 

already existed a considerable Jewish community in Egypt in the 

early days of Muhammedan rule. As they may be of interest to 

the historian, I deem it advisable to translate these short passages 

into English. 

Ff 2 


' Ahmad b. Tulun commenced building the Square in Sha'ban 
in the year 256 (<:. 870 c. e.), and he commanded to plough up 
the Jewish and Christian cemeteries ' (p. 215, 11. 11 f.). 

'Ahmad b. Tulun's illness grew worse, and he commanded 
the people to pray for him . . . And the Jews and Christians 
were also present, but they were separated from the Muslims ' 
(p. 231, 11. II ff.). 

It is noteworthy that this Ahmad, who had committed an act 
of sacrilege against the Jews and Christians, wanted them to pray 
for his recovery. 

'Some Jews instituted a litigation against Ibn Hujairah (a 
judge who held office about 716 c. e.) before 'Omar b. 'Abd 
'l-'Aziz, and claimed that he had taken money from them. He 
affirmed that he had taken the money, but subsequently returned 
it to them. 'Omar asked him : " Do you have any witnesses that 
you returned the money ? " He replied : " No ! " He then said : 
" You are obliged to pay, Oh Ibn Hujairah, and you have pledged 
yourself". Afterwards he stated that he had witnesses, and some 
men testified in his favour' (p. 332, 11. 17 ff.). 

This reference is, through oversight, not entered in Mr. Guest's 
index. It is true that the Ya of j^^j has no diacritical points in 
the text, but this is the only possible reading which is also found 
in Raf al-Isr as quoted in the note. 

' Hair b. Nu'aim used to accept the testimony of Christians 
concerning Christians, and that of Jews concerning Jews. He 
would inquire about their integrity from their own co-religionists ' 
(p. 351, 11. 8 f.). 

There are two more places where Jews are mentioned (p. 424, 
1. I, and p. 569, 1. 14), but they only refer to Jews in general. 

The Arabs, like the Jews and almost all other nations, have 
attached great importance to the study of pedigrees. The historical 
value of such studies can scarcely be overrated. In Arabic there 
are a good many works devoted to this subject, but the most 
exhaustive is no doubt al-Sam'anl's Book of Ascriptions ijK^itab 
al-Ansab\ that is to say, adjectival forms indicating the tribe, 
country, &c. to which the person belonged. Al-Sam"ani flourished 


in the twelfth century, and was regarded as a very learned man. 
Born in Merw, he travelled extensively in search of material for 
his books which are supposed to number forty-nine. 

Such a work is naturally not for the ordinary reader, but 
a book of reference for the mature scholar. It was therefore 
unnecessary to transcribe the manuscript and edit it, especially as, 
owing to the magnitude of the book, the labour entailed would 
have been tremendous. The reproduction in facsimile is sufficient 
for the average scholar. As al-Sam'ani arranged the ansab 
alphabetically, there was no need to compile an index. In most 
cases, however, the commencement of a nisbah in this manuscript 
is in the same characters as the other words, and the use of the 
book would have been very troublesome. To obviate this difficulty 
Mr. A. G. Ellis, formerly of the British Museum and now of the 
India Office Library, marked with a circle on the margin where a 
nisbah begins. 

Prof. Margoliouth's short introduction contains a concise 
sketch of al-Sam anl's life. The salient facts for this sketch are 
gathered from the chronicles of Ibn al-AthIr and Dahabi, as well 
as from the biographical dictionaries of Ibn Hallikan and Subki. 
Al-Sam'anI in this work refers to himself and his friends now and 
again, and these data, too, were made use of by Prof. Margoliouth. 
There is, however, in this introduction one statement to which 
exception can be taken, and which is quite irrelevant to the 
subject. In discussing the study of ansab, Prof. Margoliouth 
remarks that ' its importance for the early Arabs is rightly con- 
nected with the blood-feud by the author of a curious mediaeval 
" squib", fathered on the eminent Rabbi Saadyah Gaon '. This is 
an allusion to the Sefer ha-Galuy. In /QM., XIII, Prof. Mar- 
goliouth published a paper assailing the authenticity of that book. 
He tried to demonstrate that it was merely a parody on Sa'adya 
written by a Karaite. Harkavy, who had edited the fragments of 
that book, ably refuted all of Prof. Margoliouth's arguments. 
Even at that time the latter stood alone in his remarkable position. 
For Steinschneider, who had maintained a sceptical attitude 
towards that book, changed his mind when the then existing 


fragments appeared. Since then new finds confirmed Harkavy's 
view. Prof. Schechter published a few leaves of the Hebrew part 
in his Saadyana. One of Prof. Margoliouth's chief supports was 
the word ny*?, which was not very clear in the manuscript, and 
which he took to stand for nnyo. But in the fragment now at 
the Dropsie College, which was published by Prof. Maker in 
JQR; New Series, III, pp. 487 ff., this word is nwtJ'^N, the 
Babylonian (see p. 789, note 5). In view of this overwhelming 
evidence it is high time for Prof Margoliouth to change his 
opinion about the Sefer ha-Galuy. 

The publication of al-Hazraji's Pearl-Strings (al-UMd al- 
Lu'lu'tyyak) has a somewhat romantic history. Some thirty years 
ago Sir James William Redhouse transcribed this book from a 
manuscript in the India Office Library, and translated it into 
English. He handed it over for safe keeping to the authorities 
of the Cambridge University Library in gratitude for the degree 
of Litt.D. that was conferred on him. He then expressed his 
view that he saw no possibility of having the book published. 
But the trustees of the Gibb Memorial took the book in hand, 
and in 1906, 1907 they published the English translation in two 
volumes, and now we have the first half of the Arabic text. 
As is explained by Prof. Browne in his preface, this edition is 
not based upon Redhouse's transcript, but upon the original 

'All b. al-Hasan al-Hazraji was a friend of Firuzabadi, the 
famous author of the KamUs, and died at the beginning of the 
fifteenth century. He possesses a graphic style, and displays 
remarkable skill in handling his subject. This book has great 
merit, and fully deserves publication, although one is tempted to 
say that the edition of Ibn Hatim's 'Ikd, from which al-Hazraji 
freely borrowed, should have taken precedence. This volume 
contains the earliest history of Yemen from almost legendary 
times until a.h. 721 (about 1320 c. e.). The story of the bursting 
of the dam is given at full length. When the author reaches the 
Rasuli dynasty he takes up every year, and describes the important 
events, and gives an account of the learned men who died in 


each year. He skilfully characterizes each man. If the man 
whose career is briefly sketched happens to have been some sort 
of a poet, some of his verses are given. 

Sheikh Muhammad 'Asal's part of the work has so far been 
to supervise the printing of the book. His few Arabic notes 
deal mostly with the state of the text. Now and again, however, 
he has a very learned suggestion. In his preface he promises to 
write, after the completion of the book, about the usefulness and 
historical value of the Pear I- Strings. Despite the fact that the 
book was printed in Egypt and supervised by an Egyptian Sheikh, 
it is not free from misprints, as, for instance, ^p}^. (p- 9, 1- 9) 
instead of Jji'jJU, and Ujs? (p. 128, 1. 18) instead of b^. It 
seems to me that /^i (p. 107, 1. 7) ought to be jwy. A curious 
case of inconsistency is ^-jl^l (p. 27, 1. 7) which is a quotation from 
p. 26, 1. 4, where it is diUI. On p. 105 the hemistichs of 11. 2, 3 
are wrongly divided: l^ilji and u-iji*, respectively, are to finish 
the first hemistichs. The metre is Tawil. The sense, as well as 
the metre, which is also Tawil, demands the reading JUill 

(P- 383. 1- i)- 

The following are the references to Jews in this volume : 
'Abu Jablah b. 'Amr is the one who killed the Jews in 
Madinah' (p. 19, 1. 13). 

' The jurist Muhammad al-Maribl (died about 1 240 c. e.) was 
going one day to his house, and met a man riding on a beautiful 
she-mule, and a number of youths were with him. The jurist 
thought this man was a wazir or a judge, or some other dignitary. 
When he asked who the rider was, he was informed that he was 
a Jewish physician who served the Sultan in that capacity. He 
then shouted at him, dragged him down from the mule, and 
threw him to the ground. He also took off his shoe and smote 
him violently with it, and said : "Oh enemy of God and enemy 
of His apostle, you have overstepped your limit, and it is there- 
fore necessary to humiliate you." When the jurist left him, the 
Jew rose, and returned to the gate of the Sultan asking for help 
(read e.*iiw.j). When the Sultan Nur al-Din was told that the 
jurist Muhammad al-Maribi was the opponent of the Jew, he sent 


a messenger to him asking about the incident. The jurist said 
to the messenger: "Greet the Sultan and tell him that it is not 
lawful to allow Jews to ride on mules with saddles, and it is 
not permitted that they should have supremacy over Muslims. 
If they do such things they lose the protection of Islam." The 
messenger returned to the Sultan with the jurist's reply. When 
the Sultan heard that, he said to the Jew : "Go with the messenger 
to the jurist that he may inform you what the ordinance requires 
of you. You should do whatever you are told." He then turned 
to the messenger and said : " Tell the jurist : the Sultan greets 
you and would like (read, perhaps, ^^sl) that you should tell this 
Jew what the ordinance requires of him. The moment he over- 
steps his limit he forfeits his protection." The jurist prescribed 
certain ordinances for the Jew. The latter departed, and the 
messenger returned to the Sultan, and told him what had happened. 
The Sultan then said to the Jew : " Beware you do not deviate 
from the prescriptions of the jurist or you will be killed, and 
no one will save you. For this is the law of God and the 
ordinance of His apostle." The Jew then departed to his house ' 
(p. 66, 11. 6 ff.). 

Shams al-Din (thirteenth century) in a poem says : ' Men 
denied us all virtues, as if we were Christians or Jews by religion ' 
(p. 117, 1. ro)- 

There is a reference to the tribute paid by Jews on p. 189, 
1. 16. 

AM U-Mahdsin Ibn Taghri Birdt's Annals. Edited by William 
Popper (vol. Ill, part i, no. i). Berkeley : at the University 
OF California Press, 1913. pp. iv-l-130. (University of 
California publication in Semitic philology.) 

Ibn TagrI Birdl's method of writing is in many respects similar 
to that of al-HazrajI, though as an author he is less imaginative 
and graphic than the latter. He, too, first gives a general 
description of the reign of every ruler, and then takes up every 
year separately, chronicles every important event, and mentions 


the learned men who died during that year. At the end of every 
description he records the state of the Nile. Although his chief 
aim is to give an account of the Egyptian rulers, he does not 
confine himself to that country, and described the lives of men 
who lived in other countries. 

The historical importance of this book has long ago been 
recognized, and as early as 1852 Juynboll and Matthes com- 
menced to edit it. The publication which went as far as volume II, 
part I, was interrupted for more than half a century, and Dr. Popper 
will deserve the gratitude of Orientalists for resuming the edition 
of this work. The fascicle before us is the first of volume III, 
and the events narrated in it cover the period a.h. 524-566, that 
is to say, till the end of the rule of the Fatimides in Egypt. As in 
the preceding volume the editor has presented a very careful 
text. His notes are confined to textual matter. He has carefully 
collated the few existing manuscripts, and has usually chosen 
the best readings. Now and again he suggests emendations 
which are not based upon manuscript evidence. These can only 
be accepted with great caution. An instance to the point is si-. 
(p. 54, 1. 13) instead of &»-. of the manuscript. The former word 
denotes stupidity, and hence can scarcely be used as an antithesis 
to A*yi, which means here liberality, iil (opulence, wealth) is, 
to my mind, by far superior. The line should be translated : 
And they left me behind among people ofivealth who would die if 
they saw the phantom of a visitor in their sleep. Their niggard- 
liness is thus forcibly brought out because of their opulence. 

iJLa. (p. 32, 1. s) should better be emended to J*a-1. Comp. 
below, 1. 8. 

The names of the metres of the verses that are quoted are, as 
a rule, given accurately. The following errors, however, should 
be corrected : 

P. 71, 11. 5, 6. A sort of Munsarih, not Basil. 

P. 74, 11. 3, 4. A Rajaz, not Sari'. 

P. 76, 11. 5, 6. A sort of Munsarih, not Basil. 

P. 79, 1. II. Read vLIjS; the metre is Ramal. 

P. 91, 1. 9. Kamil, not Sarf. 


Ibid., 11. 14, 15. Munsarih, not Baslt. 

P. 107, 1. 21. Vocalize vsjjl, on account of metre. 

P. Ill, 11. 6, 7. Hafif, not Basil. 

There are a few references to Jews in this fascicle, and the 
following are summaries of the passages in which they occur : 

' Some of the officials had a grudge against Hasan, the son of 
the Caliph al-Hafiz (a.h. 524-544), and demanded his execution. 
They besieged the Caliph's castle, and threatened to burn it. 
Seeing no hope for escape, the Caliph was compelled to yield to 
them. He had two Jewish physicians, one named Abu Mansur 
and the other Ibn Firkah. When Abu Mansur was asked by the 
Caliph to prepare a poison for his son, he excused himself, and 
swore by the head of the Caliph and by the Torah that he had no 
knowledge of this matter. Ibn Firkah then came in, and on the 
Caliph's demand prepared a poison which Hasan was made to 
drink. His enemies, convinced of his death, were appeased. 
But the Caliph wreaked his vengeance on Ibn Firkah. He 
arrested him, and confiscated his property. On Abu MansQr, 
however, he bestowed great favours, and appointed him chief of 
the Jews ' (p. 6, 11. 9 ff.). 

'They dug up a deep foundation in the fifteenth year of 
al-Hafiz's rule (a.h. 539), and found a large stone on which were 
inscribed two lines in Syriac. A Jewish Sheikh came and trans- 
lated them into Arabic ' (p. 35, 11. i ff.). 

' When 'Abd al-Mu'min b. 'All conquered Morocco in a. h. 542, 
he caused the Jews and Christians to appear before him, and said 
"The Imam al-Mahdi commanded me that I should not allow 
any one to profess any other religion but Islam. You declared 
that after the period of five hundred years somebody would 
come to support your creed. Now that time has already elapsed. 
I therefore give you to choose one of three things: become 
Muslims ; settle in the region where war is constantly waged; or else 
I shall behead you." Some of them embraced Islam, while others 
settled in the region where war is constantly waged ' (p. 39, 11. 22 ff.). 

In speaking of the rule of al-'Adid (a.h. 556-566) he mentions 
that that dynasty claims to be of noble pedigree, while in reality 
it is of Jewish origin (p. 90, 11. 3, 5, 8). 


Xitdb al Tawdsin. Par Abou al Moghith al Hosayn Ibn 
Mansour al HallAj. Texte arabe, publie pour la premibre 
fois par Louis Massignon. Paris: Paul Geuthner, 1913. 
pp. xxiv+223. 

The title of this book immediately suggests its mystic character. 
As is well known certain Surahs of the Kur'an begin with letters 
which have hitherto not been satisfactorily explained. The letters 
ta and sin occur at the beginning of Surahs 26, 27, 28. Hence 
these letters are combined into tasln, and the plural thereof is 
tawasin. Al-Hallaj in the present work offers various mystic 
interpretations of these initials. The mode of treatment is not 
dissimilar from that of the Jewish Kabbalists. This writer who 
was one of the greatest mystics among the Arabs was born in 
858 c.E. His doctrines displeased the various sects of Islam, 
and he was arrested on several occasions. In the year 922 he 
was flogged and beheaded in a prison in Bagdad. He was the 
author of numerous works in prose and verse, mostly dealing with 
mysticism. Like most mystics he writes in a rhetorical style, and 
even his prose has many poetic touches. 

The work of M. Massignon has been more than merely that 
of an editor. He has divided the text into paragraphs, and 
printed it in parallel columns with al-Bakll's Persian translation, 
which may help one to understand the Arabic original. This 
translation, by the way, tends to prove that there existed two 
different recensions of the Kitab al-Tawdsin. The editor ably 
discusses the authenticity of the text, and from citations in other 
works conclusively proves that this book is by al-Hallaj, or at 
least one that was ascribed to him as early as in the tenth century. 
He also gives a masterly analysis of the entire work. After the 
text and translation he prints extracts of al-Bakll's commentary. 
In order to point out the real importance of the Kttdb al-Tawdsin 
M. Massignon summarizes the principles of the doctrine of al- 
Hallaj. In this sketch he shows great insight into the mystic 
philosophy of the Arabs, and a thorough grasp of the works of 
al-Hallaj. He then gives copious and extensive notes on the 


text itself. In these explanatory notes he does not confine himself 
to textual matter, but cites passages from other writers in order 
to establish the exact signification of the text under consideration, 
and to indicate the influence that al-Hallaj exercised over subse- 
quent mystic writers. There is a wealth of material collected 
here, and once more M. Massignon proves himself to be master 
of his subject. In conclusion he prints the last prayer of al- 
Hallaj, which was uttered before his execution on March 25, 
922. There are four recensions and a Persian translation of this 
prayer, and all are given in parallel columns followed by a French 
rendering. This prayer is pervaded by mystic and religious 

While reading the Arabic text and the passages quoted through- 
out the book I made some corrections and emendations, some of 
which I found in the table of corrections given in the name 
of Martin Hartmann, Reynold A. Nicholson, and Miguel Asin 
Palacios. In the following list I give some of my corrections to 
which attention has not been drawn at the end of the book. 

P. xii, 1. -?. oii should be vocalized oii. 

P. 9 A, 1. 8. jjI's should be y:^ on account of the rhyme. 

P. 10 A, 1. II. iM-i, which gives no sense in this connexion, 
should be emended to ^jsi parallel to ^iilj, which is suggested 
by Nicholson. It thus rhymes with the other lines. 

P. II A, 1. 15. Read i."^l. 

P. 1 3 A, 1. 13. iJ/C, which makes no sense, should be read 

P. 14 A, 1. 12. Instead of iwiUl read j.!L,cl which would be 
parallel to, and would rhyme with JliU. 
P. 38 A, 1.6. Read ^^iU. 

P. 42 A, 1. 15. Vocalize ^^, as ^^ denotes a calamity. 
P. 43 A, 1.14. ReadJ>\3. 
P. 133, 1. 6. Read tjj^. 
P. 180, 1. II. Read '^^ ■ ■ • }y 
Ibid., 1. 17. Vocalize jaJ. 
In a few cases the metre is incorrectly given. 


P. 24 A, 1. 3. The metre is a sort of Munsarih, not Basit. 
The end of the lines should be sS". 

P. 31 A, 1. 4. The metre is not Wafir, as given in the text, 
nor Basit, as corrected by Nicholson, but Munsarih. 

P. 133, 1. 8. The asterisk dividing the hemistichs should be 
placed after 5l In the same line vocalize °j»i . 

Ibid., 1. 9. The metre demands that we should read^^. 

P. 138, 11. 4-6 are given as Haflf, which is incorrect. The 
lines do not belong to one metre. 

P. 170, 11. I, 2 require certain corrections if they are to 
conform to the metre Basit as given in the text. 

P. 181, 11. 18 ff. The metre is Ramal, not Basit. The word 
^jlpkil^ is erroneously divided into two. 

P. 196, 11. 5, 6. The metre is Sari', not Basit. 1. 6 a is 

Abu 'l-Barakdt ibn al-Anbari: die grammatischen Streitfragen der 
Basrer und Kufer. Herausgegeben, erklart und eingeleitet, 
von GoTTHOLD Weil. Leyden: E.J. Brill, 1913. pp. iv + 
2II + 35 + 355- 

Die grammatischen Schulen von Kufa und Basra. Von Gotthold 
Weil. Zugleich Einleitung zu der Ausgabe des Kitab al- 
Insaf von Ibn al-Anbari. Leyden : E. J. Brill, 1913. 
pp. 116. 

A language possessing a canonized literature will naturally 
tend to become grammatically fixed. For canonical books must 
be accurately and carefully read, and in many cases they serve as 
models for subsequent literary productions. In such books every 
detail assumes great importance, and hence attempts are made 
to fix the exact spelling and pronunciation of each word. In 
Hebrew this circumstance gave rise to the Masorah, and in 
Arabic it was the incentive to the grammatical schools that were 
established in Basrah and Kufah. The Arabs had, in addition 
to the Kur'an, some secular poems which were carefully trans- 
mitted, and the accuracy of which could in many cases be 


determined by the metre and rhyme. Now and again, however, 
we meet with conflicting or ambiguous traditions which occasioned 
disputes in the various schools. Just as in Hebrew we have 
conflicting traditions (nisirinD JTniDc), so the Arabs, too, have 
preserved controversies between the two famous schools of Basrah 
and Kufah. And as the tradition of the Arabs is of comparatively 
recent date, the controversies, as well as the reasons assigned for 
each opinion, are extant. 

Abu '1-Barakat al-Anbarl, an extremely prolific writer of the 
twelfth century, whose books are said to amount to one hundred 
and thirty, was asked to compile a list of the points on which the 
two schools held different views, and the result was the Kitdbu 
'I-Insdfi ft MasdHli 'l-ffildfi baina 'n-Nahwiyyina U-Basriyyina 
wa' l-Kufiyyina ('the book that justly decides between the con- 
troversies of the grammarians of Basrah and Kufah'). In this 
book he collected one hundred and twenty-one questions together 
with the reasons for the opinions held by each school. After 
a lengthy discussion the author gives his own decision. In many 
of the questions and arguments deep grammatical insight is 
displayed, and the method employed is not dissimilar from that 
of modern comparative grammarians. Ibn al-Anbari's decisions, 
however, cannot always be followed, as his sympathies unmistak- 
ably are with the Basrites. Of especial interest is the discussion 
why the complement oi kdna ('was') and its 'sisters' is in the 
accusative case. The Kufites maintain that this is the accusative 
of condition {ftal), while the Basrites say it is a sort of object 
(Arabic text, pp. 348-51). Some of the disputes appertain to 
grammatical usage, whereas others are academic discussions as 
to the explanations or derivations of certain forms or constructions. 
The latter make up the greater part of the questions, and deal 
with such topics as the derivation of ism (' a name '), whether it is 
derived from samd (the Basrites) or wasama (the Kufites), and 
the formation of sayytd (' a lord '), whether it is a.fa'tl (the Kufites) 
oxfai'il (the Basrites). 

Dr. Weil's introduction treats of several interesting themes. 
He gives a survey of the origin and development of the schools of 


Arabian grammarians. In the historical part of this study he 
follows Gustav Fliigel's Die grammatischen Sckulen der Araber, 
and is able to make additions from books that have become 
known to European scholars since 1862, vvhen Flugel's book was 
published. He further discusses the principles that underlie the 
two schools, and skilfully grapples with the problems connected 
with them, though his general conclusions do not appear to me to 
be convincing. According to his exposition the fundamental 
difference between these two schools consists in the fact that the 
Basrites laid particular stress on analogy, whereas the Kufites 
adhered to tradition as closely as possible. Thus if a certain 
expression is found in an ancient poem, it is considered of suf- 
ficient weight by the Kufites, and is hence regarded as sanctioned 
by usage. The Basrites, however, only accept those expressions 
which are not contrary to analogy. Should these really be the 
principles that prevailed in these schools, modern grammarians 
would be inclined to concur with the former, for language is not 
logical, but rather psychological, and hence grammar must be 
based upon well-established facts, not upon analogy which in 
its last analysis is nothing more than abstract reasoning. The 
line of demarcation, however, between these two schools is not 
as sharply drawn as Dr. Weil supposes. They both make use 
of analogy and tradition, and there hardly seems to be a fixed 
system. Sometimes analogy is appealed to in support of the 
Kufites, and the Basrites do not despise tradition when it is on 
their side. Either principle is given as support whenever suitable. 
Moreover, members of one and the same school are not always in 
agreement. There are cases when some Basrites agree with the 
Kufites, and vice versa. Had their respective systems been fixed, 
this internal disagreement could hardly have arisen. 

Some of Ibn al-Anbari's questions have been published on 
previous occasions by Girgas and Rosen in their Chrestomathy 
(nos. 5, 9, r8, and 34), by Koshut (nos. 2, 3, 4, 69, and no), 
by Buhl (nos. 18, 105, 106, 108, 116), and by Dr. Weil himself 
(nos. 105, 108). But this is the first time that the book is 
published in its entirety, and Dr. Weil is to be congratulated on 


the excellent edition he produced. The book is indeed well 
edited and well annotated. The edition is based upon the Leyden 
manuscript, though other manuscripts have occasionally been 
made use of. In the notes attention is now and again called to 
variants. By carefully vocalizing ambiguous words Dr. Weil was 
able to dispense with some explanatory notes. 

With great industry Dr. Weil succeeded in tracing almost every 
poetic quotation occurring in this book to its source. Those who 
know how scattered the material is will certainly appreciate his 
labours. On the basis of the metre I should like to offer the 
following remarks : 

P. 90, 1. 22. Read uyW.o,U Ujiljb oL.^. The metre is 
Muta]b:arib. The sense, too, is improved by this correction. 

P. 169, 1. 12. Vocalize 'S^>.- The metre is Sari'. 

3id., 1. 15. Vocalize iJ«. The metre is Basit. 

P. 206, 1. I. jjl is impossible, as the metre is Kamil. Read 
perhaps JVy 

P. 319, 1. ri. lilia^ ^ cannot be right, although it is quoted 
again in the following line. As the metre is Tawll we ought to 
read perhaps Ijdiill ^j^t. 

The verse quoted in note on p. 187, 1. 3 should begin CjSj 
or Gilj. The metre is Wafir. 

For those who are interested in the growth and development 
of the grammatical schools among the Arabs, but do not care 
to have the Arabic text, Dr. Weil published his introduction 
separately. With the exception of a short preface, this pamphlet 
is identical with the introduction printed at the beginning of the 
Kitdb al-Jnsdf. 

R. Briinnows Arabische Chrestomathie. Aus Prosaschriftstellern in 
zweiter Auflage vollig neu bearbeitet und herausgegeben 
von August Fischer. Berlin : Reuther & Reichard, 
1913. pp. xiii+i83+ 161. (Porta Linguarum Orientalium, 
Pars xvi.) 


Enseignement de VArabe parli et de VArabe rigulier d'aprhs la 
mithode direde. Lectures choisies, contes, fables, anecdotes, 
recits sur la vie arabe, les moeurs et coutumes des Arabes, 
les travaux agricoles, etc. Par Abderrahman Mohammed, 
Professeur au Lycde d'Oran. (2^ Edition.) Algiers : Adolphe 
JouRDAN, 1913. pp. viii+144. 

Mtthode de langue kabyle. (Cours de deuxifeme annee.) £tude 
linguistique et sociologique sur la Kabylie du Djurdjura. 
Texte zouaoua suivi d'un glossaire. Par Boulifa S. A., 
charg^ du cours pratique de langue kabyle a la Faculte de 
Lettres et a I'ficole Normale d' Alger. Algiers: Adolphe 
JouRDAN, 1913. pp. xxiv + S44. 

BrUnnow's Arabic Chestomathy has enjoyed great popularity 
among students and teachers, as it practically covered the most 
important branches of that literature with the exception of poetry, 
to which a separate book was devoted in the Porta linguarum 
series. This edition is now exhausted, and the preparation of 
a new edition fell to the lot of Prof. August Fischer. Although 
the first edition served as a model to some extent, the selections 
incorporated in the present edition are, with the exception of 
twenty-nine pages, entirely new. The bulk of the texts, too, is 
increased by twenty-two pages. Prof. Fischer did well in following 
the examples of chrestomathies published in the Orient, like the 
Majanl al-Adab, and gave first a collection of short anecdotes 
which are written in a very simple style. These anecdotes are 
excerpted from Shakir al-Batluni's Tasliyat al-Hawdtir. This is 
followed by the biographies of Ta'abbata Sharran, Keis b. Darih, 
and 'Urwah b. Hizara al-'Udrl, which are taken from the Kitdb 
al-Agdnl. Then come excerpts from Ibn Hisham's Biography 
of the Prophet; Tabari's Annals; Ibn Hallikan's biographies of 
Sibaweih, Bujiarl, Ibn Ishalj, Abu 'l-'Ala' al-Ma'arrI, and Hariri ; 
the Kur'an; Buharl's works of Muhammedan tradition; the 

From these selections it may be seen that Prof. Fischer has 
proceeded from the easier to the harder, and has given the 
VOL, VI. G g 


learner the opportunity of acquiring a fairly good vocabulary by 
reading attractive passages from the best prose writers. The 
glossary is compiled on the usual lines, and gives concise explana- 
tions in German of every word and expression that occurs in the 
book. In the case of rare words and phrases, or those that may 
appear difficult to the beginner, reference is made to the passage 
where they occur. English-speaking students, however, will, 
perhaps, resent the omission of the English translation of the 
glossary, which was one of the merits of the first edition. In 
justification of the publishers, who are responsible for this omission, 
it may be urged that English-speaking students who take up 
Arabic, as a rule, possess a sufficient knowledge of German to be 
able to consult an Arabic-German glossary. 

The Arabic type employed throughout the book is that which 
is customary in European editions. This can hardly be regarded 
as satisfactory, as the learner gets accustomed to this character, 
and finds it difficult to read books printed in the Orient. Syriac 
chrestomathies for beginners usually contain specimens of the 
various types employed. Why should not the Arabic student be 
trained to read with ease books printed in Beyrout, Bulak, Algiers, 
and other centres of Oriental culture ? 

It is the want just mentioned that Abderrahman Mohammed's 
Arabic chrestomathy partially supplies. This book is printed 
in Algiers type, and with a little practice the learner will be 
enabled to read it fluently. It comprises two parts: part one 
contains passages written in the dialect of Algiers, while part two 
is in classical, or rather, ordinary Arabic. Apart from style, the 
two parts differ also in their contents. Part one comprises 
anecdotes and descriptions from the life of the Arabs, especially 
those residing in Algiers. These descriptions are given in the 
form of short sketches which make very interesting reading. Part 
two consists of fables, anecdotes, and narratives which are excerpted 
from the books of Luljman, Sharishi, Ibn Batutah, and others. 
At the end of every sketch there are brief notes in Arabic 
explaining rare or vulgar words. On the whole the arrangement 
of the texts is very judiciously done, and although the book is 


primarily intended for schools in Algiers, it can be profitably used 
by the Western student. Part one is especially useful, because it 
contains numerous words and grammatical forms that are employed 
in the dialect spoken in Algiers. 

Since Hanoteau wrote his Essai de grammaire kabyle in 1858, 
the Zouave dialect of the Kabyles (Arabic ^aiSil= ' tribes ') has 
been more minutely investigated, and M. Boulifa has incorporated 
the best results in his Me'thode de langue kabyle. As this language 
possesses no written literature, the difficulties that beset the 
author were naturally great, but he has successfully overcome 
them. His method is analytic, and in this respect the book 
differs from other scientific grammars which have no practical 
aim. The texts which are in French transliteration deal with 
the customs and manners of the inhabitants of North Africa, 
especially of the Kabyles of Jurjura. Almost all phases of their 
life are described, and the student becomes acquainted with the 
internal conditions of the people whose language he is acquiring. 
The Kabyle-French glossary which accompanies the texts is 
replete with philological matter, as the derivation and etymology 
of every word are given as completely as possible. One only 
wishes that the transliteration were different from that adopted 
by French scholars, as the superfluity of vowels ofifends the eye. 

The Koran or Alcoran of Mohammed. With explanatory notes 
and preliminary discourse. By George Sale. Also readings 
from Savary's version. With maps and plans. London : 
Frederick Warne and Co., [1913]. pp. xvii + 516. 

Mahoma : El Koran. Traducido del Arabe, ilustrado con notas 
y precedido de un estudio de la vida de Mahoma, extractado 
de los libros de los escritores orientales mas dignos de 
cr^dito. For M. Savary. Version castellana de A. Her- 
nandez Cata. Paris : Garnier Hermanos. [1913]. pp. xi 
+ 559- 

There is no need to dwell on the merits of Sale's English 
translation of the Kur'an. Although it is somewhat paraphrastic, 



it has great charms, as it imitates the biWical style. It is therefore 
no wonder that since its first appearance in 1734 it has been 
frequently reprinted. Even Rodwell and Palmer's translations, 
which are more literal, can scarcely supplant it. The present 
edition offers some improvements in the matter of printing. But 
the greatest disadvantage of Sale's translation, namely, the fact 
that verses are not marked, has not yet been removed. The 
greater bulk of European students and scholars use Fliigel's 
edition of the Kur'an, and the verses of the translation should 
have been marked accordingly. For those who wish to refer to 
the original the division of verses is almost indispensable. The 
orthography, too, should have been modernized. There is no 
reason why the spelling intitled should be retained. 

The Castilian translation of the I^^ur'an is also a reprint of 
a well-known book that has enjoyed great popularity. The 
explanatory notes are concise, and are chiefly based upon the 
works of native commentators. The sketch of Muhammed's life 
that precedes the translation is a very interesting study, the facts 
of which are derived from reliable Muhammedan authors. 

B. Halper. 
Dropsie College.